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Published on July 21st, 2013 | by Abu Umayza | Views: 42071

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Eaalim

Be Like a Date Palm Tree

‘Abd Allah ibn ‘Umar رضي الله عنه is reported that the Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم said:

مثل المؤمن مثل النخلة , ما أخذت منها من شيء نفعك

“The example of the believer is like the example of the date palm (tree); whatever you take from it, is to your benefit.” [1]

It is also narrated from Ibn ‘Umar رضي الله عنه that the Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم asked, “Amongst the trees, there is a tree, the leaves of which do not fall and is like a Muslim. Tell me the name of that tree.” Everybody started thinking about the trees of the desert areas. And I thought of the date-palm tree but felt shy to answer, so I asked, “What is that tree, O Allah’s Messenger?” He replied, “It is the date-palm tree.” [2]

Ahadeeth that contain parables or similes provide a lot of benefit and points of guidance. This is because things that are likened to one another can be investigated and their individual purpose and intent be fully appreciated – which can then be characterised with the attributes we want to adopt or avoid applying in our own lives.

A date palm tree for example, needs no introduction as to its importance and significance throughout history. It has played a major role in agriculture and handicraft for millennia. From its root to pith to its leaves, each part has immense use and none of it is wasted. The date fruit it produces, and its numerous benefits also does not need any explanation.

What is more acute about the simile contained in the hadeeth are some of the other lesser known, intangible and ethereal points of benefits we can extract. Here are but a few examples:

It is also narrated from Ibn ‘Umar رضي الله عنه that the Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم asked, “Amongst the trees, there is a tree, the leaves of which do not fall and is like a Muslim. Tell me the name of that tree.” Everybody started thinking about the trees of the desert areas. And I thought of the date-palm tree but felt shy to answer, so I asked, “What is that tree, O Allah’s Messenger?” He replied, “It is the date-palm tree.”

1. A palm tree takes approx. 15 years before it fully develops and begins providing benefits:

A believer is likewise inherently patient and grows with his abilities. Allah سبحانه و تعالى Said: فَصَبْرٌ جَمِيلٌ and وَاصْبِرْ وَمَا صَبْرُكَ إِلَّا بِاللَّهِ “Patience is most beautifully fitting” and “Endure patiently, your patience is not but from Allah”. [3] [4]

2. A palm tree is easily maintained and cared for:

A believer is satisfied with a little and is not given to vanity and excessiveness. The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said ما قَلَّ وَكَفَى خَيْرٌ مِمَّا كَثُرَ وَألْهَى  “What is less and sufficient is better than what is more and distracts (from Allah).” [5]

3. A palm tree can be found in an oasis of fertile ground and provides shade:

A believer is one in whose company people feel safety and comfort; they can rely on him for empathy and sound advice etc. He benefits others and does not always seek benefit from others. The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم  said, “A Muslim is the brother of a Muslim, he does not wrong him nor does he forsake him when he is in need…” [6]

4. A palm tree removes pollutants from the air:

A believer is concerned about the welfare of his environment and welfare of those around him. He wses his granted abilities to that advantage. The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said, “The best of people are those who bring most benefit to others.” [7]

Thus just as the palm tree’s benefits are wholesome and all-encompassing, so too should the believer become wholesome in his attitude to readily render help to others who need it. Just as the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم was sent as a mercy to mankind, so should we be a mercy to everyone whose lives we touch. In serving and benefiting others lies an incredible closeness to Allah. It is not possible to live a life of gluttonous consumption and material selfishness, and expect to win the pleasure of Allah سبحانه و تعالى along the way.

In the second half of Ramadan, let us become like a matured palm tree. So that whatever people take from us, it will be to their benefit; whether it is to show greater hospitality, give gifts or impart sound advice, or even to just smile and give salaam. 

Footnote References:

[1] Tabarani, ‘Mu’jam al-Kabeer’, 12/411 (#13343) – graded as saheeh by al-Albani in ‘Silsilat as-Saheehah’, 2285; and others.

[2] Saheeh Al-Bukhari, Kitabul ‘ilm.

[3] Surat Al-Yusuf, 18

[4] Surat An-Nahl, 127

[5] Hilyat al-Awliya’, 1/289 – graded as saheeh by al-Mundhiri in ‘At-Targheeb’, 3/12; Dumyati in ‘al-Mutajar’, 334; al-Haythami in ‘Majma az-Zawa’id’, 3/125 and others.

[6] Agreed upon

[7] Agreed upon

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Abu Umayza


The more the people are guided to follow the goodness, the greater the opportunity for him to get the reward.



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